Lunch Set Hours: 11am-3pm, Tue-Sun (Closed on Mondays)
The Lunch Set: 98rmb for a salad or soup, a main and a drink
Food: Good, but there’s a catch -- only the burger and mushroom risotto are available as a lunch set. If you want to go for other options like steak, or even upgrade your garden salad with mozzarella and tomatoes, you’ll have to cough up an extra 10 or 20rmb. Feels like cheating. In fairness though, the burger at least is really good. Gourmet shit. Free bread with oil and balsamic, too.
Environment: Spiffy European bistro bar, gastropub feel. Very on trend. The place is brand new and you can tell, from design to service.
Recommended? On purely food and atmosphere, yeah. Price is harder to say. It could really have more options, and it’s the most expensive in this list, but the quality is high.
Lunch Set Hours: 11am-4pm, Mon-Fri
The Lunch Set: 58rmb for a main, 78rmb for a main plus starter or dessert, 98rmb for all three.
Food: Reasonably hefty French and Italian stuff. They do a beast of a croque monsieur as well as a pizza that’s decent if you’re into greasy ones with loads of cheese. Some burgers, pastas and risottos too. Starters are basically a range of salads, and for dessert you’ll find panna cotta, chocolate cake and tiramisu.
Environment: A nicely decked out European wine bar. Spacious with lots of natural light. Fairly date-worthy.
Recommended? Sure. Food is solid, atmosphere is nice. And there’s a nice mix between lighter options and stodgy, cheesy fare.
Lunch Set Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, Mon-Sat (Closed on Sundays)
The Lunch Set: 88rmb for any pizza or pasta, plus salad or gazpacho.
Food: Really decent, particularly the pizzas. Full on 12-inch pies with thin, charred and bubbly crusts; lots of toppings available. There’s 13 options, including a calzone. Pasta seems fair -- heard good things about the gnocci.
Environment: Standard but pleasant Euro-bistro, decorated with stylized images of everyone from Tony Soprano to Mick Jagger to Charlie Chaplin. Better music than other places in the area, too; low-key but cool, old-school leaning electronic and hip-hop tunes.
Recommended? Yep. Not the cheapest in the area (and for the price you’d think they could throw in a drink) but the quality is definitely there.
Lunch Set Hours: 11.30am-2pm, Daily
Lunch Set: 38-65rmb for a main, a salad, miso salad, and two sides
Food: Good, low stakes Japanese. For mains they do sets of nine sushi rolls for 48–65rmb, or ten pieces of nigiri (65rmb). You can switch those out for udon or rice sets, too (38–45rmb). The extras they throw in make it feel like a proper meal.
Environment: What you’d expect from a casual sushi chain, plus a great big terrace.
Recommended? Definitely. One of the better shouts on this strip, especially in terms of value. Not the best sushi in the world, but really not bad, especially for the price.
Lunch Set Hours: 10am-2pm, Daily
Lunch Set: Main, appetizer, soup, salad, steamed egg and dessert for 38-88rmb
Food: Similar to Sushi O but more focused on hearty, Japanese comfort food as well as the requisite sushi and nigiri sets. The tonkatsu for 50rmb with curry sauce and rice is great, though it's listed as "Spare Ribs" for some reason.
Environment: Spacious, hipster-lite space. Really popular with locals, plus a small number of foreigners, though a lot of them seem to pass it by. Laidback enough to earn the "California" part of its name, almost.
Recommended? Yeah. One of the more substantial deals on the block, and some of the better food.
Lunch Set Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, Daily
The Lunch Set: Main, appetizer, soup, salad, steamed egg and dessert for 38rmb-88rmb
Food: Rich French bistro type stuff. Well executed and ideal if your company is the sort that lets you take a nap after lunch. Mains run from pastas to duck magret and confit, a brie burger, salmon steak and a quarter roast chicken. All of those come with one side dish, too, for 48–65rmb. This is a full on meal meal -- rich and filling. There are also a handful of pizzas for 35–58rmb and pastas from 35–48rmb, though you don’t get a side dish with those.
Environment: It fits the food -- pleasant European bistro style that feels a little bit upmarket, with good service. The place would work just as well for a nice dinner out.
Recommended? Yeah. It’s not cheap, and it’s not light, but it’s a good one if you’re feeling like splashing a bit and feeling more decadent than usual. Good for a Friday.
Lunch Set Hours: 12pm-2pm, Tue-Fri
The Lunch Set: 50–145rmb for a soup, main, and a drink
Food: Spanish basics: huevos rotos, sandwiches (Jamon Iberico, chorizo and manchego), and a selection of bigger options like garlic chicken, lamb shank and flamenquin (breadcrumbed Iberian ham filled stuffed with peppers -- this one’s good). They do a tapas platter too. It’s pretty good fare, and seems to reflect the country it's supposed to represent, at least. And you can get fruit juices in the lunch set, too.
Environment: Cheerful, colorful and relaxed with a seemingly even split between local and foreign patrons.
Recommended? Yeah. It's a decent shout if you’re craving these particular flavors. Good portions and authentic.
Lunch Set Hours: 11am-5pm, Daily
The Lunch Set: 58rmb for a combo meal and a side
Food: Unremarkable but reasonably good "power food" (they call it a "power food station"). Lots of salads, wraps and the like. Not a dedicated vegetarian place, but definitely one of the better places in the area to head to if you are one. Good pasta. Combo meals include choices like masala lamb and paprika chicken.
Environment: Kind of a deli, classy canteen feel livened up with a bright orange color scheme and lots of inoffensive funky house on the soundsystem.
Recommended? Might be your best bet if you want to go healthy and don’t feel like dropping as much cash as you would at Pure & Whole.
Lunch Set Hours: All Day, Daily
The Lunch Set: 78rmb for two courses, 98rmb for three
Food: Food is solid, tasty and surprisingly good considering how good for you it is. The cheaper option is a pretty great Thai soup and a hummus, goat cheese and spinach wrap. Pay 98rmb and you’ll get soup, a salad and their "Awesome Curry". All decent.
Environment: Interiors are nice if you go for that soothing, unassuming beige wood café vibe.
Recommended? Lunch sets aren’t the best in the area for selection (only two options) or price, but they fill you up in a way that you won’t hate yourself for after. So yeah.
Lunch Set Hours: 10.30am-2pm, Mon-Fri
Lunch Set: 48–58rmb for spring rolls, a main and a drink.
Food: Bog-standard Shanghai Vietnamese. You know the drill -- a little too far off base in an attempt to be more friendly to local palates. Pho is best avoided, though they do passable -- if not watery -- coconut curries and fresh, citrus-y pork chop vermicelli. Spring rolls are just so-so.
Environment: Actually pretty nice. Quaint café feel, almost like one of those little Japanese places but without all the post-it notes.
Recommended? Probably not, unless you’re so hell bent on Vietnamese that a pale imitation will do.
Lunch Set Hours: 11am-2pm, Mon-Fri
Lunch Set: 38rmb – 128rmb for a soup, a drink and a main
Food: The lunch menu is huge and varied enough to arouse suspicion, but everything we’ve tried has been solid. Good beef and chicken burgers for 48rmb. Tasty Asian sets for 38rmb and up, including some killer Thai chicken fried rice, red and green Thai curry, plus a few Portuguese specials.
Environment: Welcoming pub vibes. Really nice open front and terrace which gets packed when the weather is good.
Recommended? For sure. Word of warning though -- the place gets packed some days and service does tend to suffer, so maybe not the best if you’re trying to be brisk.
Lunch Set Hours: 11am-4pm, Mon-Fri
Lunch Set: 30rmb – 50rmb for a main and a soft drink
Food: Just OK. You can get flounder and chips for 35rmb, or sea bass and chips for 50rmb. The flounder is a bit mushy and not really worth it; the sea bass is passable. The other dishes (Macaroni, Spaghetti Bolognese, Seafood Risotto) aren’t really the place's specialty. Same goes for the burgers.
Environment: Feels like a big budget sequel to the Yongkang version, with a few less nautical touches, and more rote Aussie pub vibes. OK terrace, though.
Recommended? Meh. The fish stuff isn’t bad, but it’s the only thing that marks it out.
Note: Wanted to include Munchies, which is one of the best spots in this neighborhood, but it was disqualified because it doesn’t do lunch sets. But seriously, go to Munchies.